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Startup Stories: PROtect. Smart Personal Safety
Published on December 22, 2017 by Melanie Ewan
Startup Stories is Volition’s way of celebrating the strengths, successes, and stellar companies in our local startup community. Enjoy!
Today’s spotlight is on PROtect, an app built by BC founder and realtor, Merideth Schutter, with a goal of enhancing personal safety for women and men. After meeting Merideth and hearing her pitch at our Women’s Pitch Night in November, I reached out to learn a bit more about her story and the team behind PROtect.
When Merideth (pictured above) stood up to pitch her company, she began with a story. She told us about a personal experience of being attacked four years ago while working at an open house. Merideth went on to enlighten us to the dangers to personal safety that realtors, amongst many other professionals, face in their work. It was something I was not aware of, and clearly made an impression on the captivated audience.
In Merideth’s words, PROtect was born out of a need to unite mobile technology with the reassurance of personal safety, the application allows users to connect with their closest contacts and alert them when they find themselves in unfamiliar or emergency scenarios. PROtect is the first enterprise quality app to leverage mobile tech and personal networks to create a virtual security guard for professionals at work or at play. PROtect is more than an app, it is a communication tool that automates safety. It’s a movement and we see the logo being synonymous with safety and used as a deterrent everywhere, such as on social media, on signage and other marketing materials.
Founded in 2016, the PROtect team has enjoyed a number of successes along the way. Not only did Schutter secure 1st place at Women’s Pitch Night on November 30th, but she was also a semi-finalist at FWE Pitch for the Purse. In addition, the team at PROtect has taken part in Wavefront programming, is part of The Women’s Equity Lab (WEL), and has partnered up with Dress for Success through their GIVE BACK program, empowering women entering the workforce with PROtect.
Tip from the team.
As we all know, team is everything when building a business from the ground up. In addition to a variety of mentors and advisors, the PROtect team is made up of three core team members: Merideth Schutter (Founder), Julie Jones (Customer Advisor) and Albert Lo (Developer). When asked what advice the team would pass on to fellow entrepreneurs, Merideth answered:
“Surround yourself with people smarter, more talented and more connected than yourself. These people will lift you up and help you create something wonderful. Give back – champion other entrepreneurs, mentor and share your experiences, good and bad.”
We want to wish the team the best of luck as they are currently being considered for the BCIP program, and are dropping two new features in early January, in addition to branching out into multiple languages in preparation for global scaling in 2018.
Interested in learning more about PROtect? Check out the website here or download myprotectapp on iTunes or Google Play.
Melanie is a community management specialist, facilitator, and writer with ten years of experience in the public service and a strong background in advocacy, program development, and research. She is a Managing Partner at Volition, specializing in non-dilutive fundraising, content, and community, as well as the Chief Operations Officer of Women in Tech World, a grassroots organization dedicated to creating community-driven plans and educational programming to support and advance women in tech.